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Business Consultation

About Us

Our Story

Tom built this firm based on his commitment to leaving a heritage for his own family, being a good steward of all that was entrusted to him.


While preserving financial resources was important, he also wanted to leave a record of all the things that he built his life on—his values, his faith and his personality.


A historian at heart (with an undergraduate History degree to prove it), Tom believes that we need to understand where we come from to guide us in the future.

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Ready to preserve your legacy?

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Tom L. Culpepper

Managing Attorney

After spending the first half of his adult career working with a non-profit ministry, Tom went to the University of Dayton School of Law for a mid-career change. His values didn’t change, he simply wanted to apply his skills to a new arena.

Tom spent 5 years as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney handling juvenile crimes, obtaining child support for minors, or protecting children from abusive and neglectful parents. Tom founded Culpepper Law LLC in 2011 and focused increasingly, and now entirely, on comprehensive estate planning.

When not practicing law, Tom spends time with his most valuable assets—wife Wendi, and their three children. A former college baseball player, he has recently begun to learn golf and has found that the swings are nothing alike. He is an avid reader who admits he will never finish his book list because he is continually adding to it.


John Hart


John has spent several decades representing higher education (University of Dayton and Cedarville University), but has pivoted into Elder law in 2023. He and his family found themselves navigating the challenges of long-term care needs for a family member and he wants to be in a position to help others in the same situation.

John believes that attorneys should be both advisors and advocates for their clients, and he brings the wisdom of his prior experience into our firm. He and his wife, Sheri, have deep roots in the faith community, and raised 3 kids in the Dayton area. Originally from New York, John loves all things sailing, though has found golf more available in Ohio. We look forward to you meeting him.


Patricia Niswonger

Ohio State Bar Association Certified Paralegal

Patty joined the team in 2020, but she is not new to estate planning. Originally from the Centerville area, Patty has worked for some of the strongest estate planning firms in the Dayton area over the last 15 years, and we are thrilled that she has joined our team! She is a paralegal member of the Ohio State Bar Association.


Our clients will recognize not only her legal expertise, but also the excellence with which she applies herself. Patty drafts estate planning documents and assists clients with the transfer of assets. Patty takes great pleasure in helping clients plan for their families and future. We are excited for you to meet her, and know that she will quickly earn your trust. She has been married to Mike for 25 years, loves music and cooking and is deeply devoted to her 4 legged loves.


Graci Karns

Client Services Director

We welcomed Graci Karns to our team in 2023 as our Client Services Director. You will meet her the first time you call the office. She is as cheerful and fun-loving as she sounds! Graci has a career of customer service excellence, and we love that she wanted to bring her skills to our team.


To do the important, and very personal, work in this office, Graci connects your legal needs to our legal team so that we can serve you better. She is engaging and genuine, and has jumped into serving our clients with both excellence and empathy. By design, her life is very full of the people she loves--including a precious, preschool daughter--and she handles it all with great energy. We are better for her joining us and we know you will appreciate her!

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